I love this satire on the way we look at missions and relief work. It’s so easy for us to look at the world through our consumeristic western eyes. Yet, we rarely bother to ask the right questions and simply just assume we have the answers. Asking the right questions typically starts with asking others what they need; not what we think they need. Furthermore, products like Toms are simply more about us than actually doing good in the world. Let me be clear, I’m not ripping on Toms, but our motivation towards products like Toms. Toms aren’t about giving shoes to the needy. If we’re really honest, it’s about my need for trendy shoes that make me feel socially conscious. If I really cared about giving shoes to the needy, then I should just buy shoes for the needy.
We live in such a culture of good intentions. What I’ve begun to realize, though, is that there’s a big difference between passion and action. Now onto F*ck the Poor, a campaign run in the UK to create awareness of the poor.
It’s amazing how shocked, outraged and offended people react. We are uncomfortable with being overtly callous, but when challenged with an opportunity for action we to balk, because it requires something of ourselves. We’re often a callous people, but don’t like to think of ourselves that way. Most people, if asked, would say that they consider themselves to be a ‘good person.’ I live in a town that loves to pride themselves with being socially conscious and enlightened. We love to talk about causes, outrage and injustice, but rarely does it move beyond mere cocktail party conversation. It’s more about social posturing than it is about social justice or change. We’re passionate about being passionate. Talking about things in an ideological sense is easy, but doesn’t translate into action.
Actual change in the world begins when we place our own needs aside, step outside of our comfort zones and willingly get our hands dirty helping others. You don’t have to travel overseas to serve. Just begin to open your eyes to needs of our own community. Simply start there and you’ll be surprised at all the work that needs to be done. Change may begin with you, but it never ends there. It always leads to helping and serving those around you.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
resurrection announces that God has not given up on the world because this world matters this world that we call home dirt and blood and sweat and skin and light and water this world that God is redeeming and restoring and renewing
greed and violence and abuse they are not right and they cannot last they belong to death and death does not belong
resurrection says that what we do with our lives matters
in this body
the one that we inhabit right now
every act of compassion matters
every work of art that celebrates the good and the true matters
every fair and honest act of business and trade
every kind word
they all belong and they will all go on in God’s good world
nothing will be forgotten
nothing will be wasted
it all has it’s place…
I see this all the time down at the pub (and the coffee house) and have also done it myself (too often). Sometimes you just gotta put the phone down and be present.
We live in a smartphone obsessed culture and I totally love this idea. It’s a specifically crafted beer glass that’s meant to rest on top of your cellphone. There comes a time when you just need to put the phone down and enjoy the people that you’re physically spending time with (as opposed to the cyber friends you have floating out in the interwebs). I just want to see this also come in the style of a coffee/travel mug.
For more on this head on over to NPR unless you’re reading this post while sitting down at a table with people. In that case, put down your phone and check it out later.
I’ll admit it. It’s true. I’m a serial texter when I drive. My wife keeps it in check when she’s riding shotgun with me, but when I’m driving solo… that’s a different story. My kids have recently been convicting me about this bad habit and recently found this awesome new campaign to help texting schmoes like me. It’s called Red Thumb Reminder and here’s their website: http://www.redthumbreminder.com/.
The idea is simple. You paint your right thumbnail to act as a visual reminder to not text while you drive.
So earlier this week, they painted my thumbnail – sparkly red. It lasted for about 10 hours because apparently I scratch my nails when I’m not paying attention. Now, I’ve resorted to a sharpie and a black thumb nail. Looks like I have frostbite.
I will say that it seems to be working pretty well. It’s also worked to slow me down in my day. The car is my new zen space to contemplate and pray as I go between places in my day. So I recommend taking on this challenge to the rest of you text-a-holics out there!
Here’s an immigrant congregation in Durham, NC that is giving back to the community and making a real difference. It’s a beautiful story about what it means to be the church together. Do you know any immigrant churches in your neighborhood? How are they fostering community?
This video was produced by Uniting NC, a great organization working to make North Carolina a place in which all people, including immigrants, have the opportunity to thrive and to engage in their communities.